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Thread: Bolt-On Performance/Premium Fluids

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    Senior Member fm2176's Avatar
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    Default Bolt-On Performance/Premium Fluids

    The first subject of this thread is very general. Cold air intakes, exhaust upgrades, programmers or PCM tunes, you name it. If it is relatively cheap and offers horsepower or MPG increases with little more than a simple part swap or filter swap, talk about it. Who has what, what works, and what do you recommend?

    Eventually I'd like to look more into various items for the truck and the Mustang. The Mustang is stock, while the truck has only a K&N filter and the Optima Yellow Top I bought yesterday. The latter is not necessarily a performance upgrade, but with cold weather and my habitual "'let's cook out, drink beer and run down the battery in the truck" I figured it was worth seeing if they live up to the reputation.

    The second subject is self-explanatory. No it doesn't mean bodily or other non-automotive fluids, there are plenty of both in the truck already. I am coming up on 85,000 miles in the Sierra. GM recommends a transmission fluid change at 50k for severe service and 100k normal. Anyone here see a benefit in going synthetic for the tranny? I already run Mobil1 and occasionally Royal Purple in the engine, the rear end has Mobil1 gear oil and the transfer case uses a proprietary AutotracII that GM has not permitted other manufacturers to duplicate.

    The power steering reservoir was a bit low (hope it's not leaking and the pump is fine, about a week ago it started getting extremely hard to turn the wheel while stopped on a hard surface) so I ended up trying the Lucas fluid. The stuff costs a bit more than regular fluid, but life-long mechanics like my brother swear by their oil products and highly recommend them.


    In short

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    I toast to fat bitches Harner's Avatar
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    CAI- K&N filters are great, but you're not adding all that much power unless you remedy how the throttle body is bringing the air in. In my T/A, there was the plastic air box, to the MAF, to a ribbed plastic elbow which was real goofy, then it went to the TB. I got a K&N CAI, which pulls the air from outside of the engine bay thus being cooler. I also deleted the elbow for a Trick Flow ceramic elbow. The elbow looks nice but it was overpriced. The cold air intake was expensive but certainly worth it.

    Exhaust- You won't feel anything here unless you open that exhaust up. Go long tubes or go home. You will feel a big increase in power right off the bat. I always delete cats too but there are no emissions here. Catbacks usually flow better than stock and they all sound slightly different. I'm a sucker for Magnaflow, Pypes, and GMMG. Don't even think about putting a Flowmaster on your Mustang. Pypes has some good kits you might like.

    With every vehicle I am sure there are "free mods" to help boost a couple ponies just by doing something simple. On my car it's the throttle body bypass. This eliminates coolant going through the TB and warming up the air that travels through.

    Hit the forums and look into these. Good luck.

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    Senior Member wanabedriver's Avatar
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    Check tire pressures.

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    Senior Member fm2176's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harner View Post
    CAI- K&N filters are great, but you're not adding all that much power unless you remedy how the throttle body is bringing the air in. In my T/A, there was the plastic air box, to the MAF, to a ribbed plastic elbow which was real goofy, then it went to the TB. I got a K&N CAI, which pulls the air from outside of the engine bay thus being cooler. I also deleted the elbow for a Trick Flow ceramic elbow. The elbow looks nice but it was overpriced. The cold air intake was expensive but certainly worth it.

    Exhaust- You won't feel anything here unless you open that exhaust up. Go long tubes or go home. You will feel a big increase in power right off the bat. I always delete cats too but there are no emissions here. Catbacks usually flow better than stock and they all sound slightly different. I'm a sucker for Magnaflow, Pypes, and GMMG. Don't even think about putting a Flowmaster on your Mustang. Pypes has some good kits you might like.

    With every vehicle I am sure there are "free mods" to help boost a couple ponies just by doing something simple. On my car it's the throttle body bypass. This eliminates coolant going through the TB and warming up the air that travels through.

    Hit the forums and look into these. Good luck.
    I did the throttle body bypass a couple days ago; seems to have a little more response now. An exhaust and (perhaps) CAI are on the list as well. The CAI I have to really look into. When it rains, it pours down here, and flash flooding is not uncommon. That said, I am looking at ways to improve the intake side of the truck. The exhaust will probably be done much later. I like the quiet ride I have now and love hearing the sound of the engine when I wind it up instead of an obnoxious exhaust. Besides, the exhaust is probably something I will have professionally installed instead of rolling around under the truck trying to fight it.

    Quote Originally Posted by wanabedriver View Post
    Check tire pressures.
    I try to do that regularly (every week or two), though I neglected to for a month when the temperature dropped. One tire was down to 20 psi, it's had a screw in it for months but never leaked before now.


    Speaking of tires, I was checking out leveling kits and tire sizes while I was supposed to be working this past week. The truck came with 265/70/17 tires but it seems I can fit 285/70/17 tires with no problem at stock height. If this is so, I will probably hold off on any kind of leveling kit. I also found that Ford torsion bar keys are a less expensive alternative to aftermarket leveling kits. Any kind of lift or suspension work (besides shocks) is out of the question for the foreseeable future. I like the look of a little bit of lift, but not the expense.


    I'm not looking to race my truck or turn it into an off-road phenomenon. It is a daily driver that I merely want to make a little more fun if I want to be heavy on the gas or take down a trail. Saving a little gas when I am lightfooted is a motivation as well, as well a having just a slight bit better tow/haul capability. Now, if it ever stops raining, maybe I can flush my coolant system today, pull a wheel and inspect my brakes. Hell, I might even plug that tire.

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    Senior Member fm2176's Avatar
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    Update:

    I just got my MSD Super Conductor wires today and threw them in to go with the NGK Iridium IX plugs I installed last weekend. Also have a new right front hub assembly. Heard a groaning before I embarked on my 1100 mile trip back from Richmond to Baton Rouge, figured it was a brake issue and couldn't find anything wrong. ABS light came on in SC but there was no difference in driving or braking, nor noise at highway speeds. Made it to Montgomery, stopped for gas and the noise kicked in really bad. Checked the wheels again and found the right front bearing had crapped out. AAA towed me 1/4 mile to a shop the driver recommended, walked there at 0730 the next morning (Motel 6 was conveniently across the street) and was back on the road by 0930, with much less out-of-pocket than I had anticipated.

    I also took five minutes today to drill and tap the intermediate steering shaft to install a grease zerk. The GMT800 platform was notorious for having a steering clunk, as I found out after joining a dedicated forum and searching for fixes for my truck's problem. GM had a temporary fix where they removed the shaft and greased it, then came out with a new shaft that supposedly is not much better. Borgeson also makes a shaft, but I found a DIY method and decided to go with that for right now.

    As for the intake, I will probably just go with an Airaid intake tube, or may even try the DIY PVC intake I found online. The throttle body bypass is issue free, even when the temperature in VA dropped below 20F.

    Who knows what will come tomorrow. I have off a third day this week due to the daughter being sick (hey, this recruiting stuff ain't all bad), already cleared off the DVR on Monday and am dreading the thought of sitting around the house doing nothing.

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